The Myths About Sleep:- Humans spend approximately a third of their lives sleeping, an act essentially integral to the mental, and physical well-being of an individual. Healthy sleeping habits contribute immensely to your good health. A lack of sufficient awareness has resulted in misconceptions about sleep pervading the general public. Knowing the fact of the matter can help reap the benefits that a sound slumber bestows on our health.
Sleep deprivation has an overwhelming global presence. It has been linked to potentially harmful repercussions on human health which necessitates the need to address the problem on a global level. The first step towards educating people about sleep is demarcating the myths and facts that abound on our understanding of sleep. When it comes to getting an adequate amount of shut-eye, many of us harbor preconceived notions about sleep that have no relevance in reality. Thus, to encourage healthy sleep behavioral patterns among individuals, it is necessary to dispel the unhealthy assumptions doing the rounds.
Read More:- The Science Behind Sleep
With these misconceptions lacking any scientific evidence, it is imperative to contradict them with facts to help individuals make well-informed decisions when it comes to their sleeping behavior. So, let us bust the most popular myths surrounding sleep as compiled by The National Sleep Foundation:
Myth #1: Sleeping for less than 7-9 hours is no big deal.
This is by far the most harmful myth that can wreak havoc on the overall health of individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a consistent sleep between 7-9 hours is requisite to better health and cognitive performance among many other benefits.
Chronic sleep deprivation can threaten you with adverse consequences on your health such as an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular disorders, being obese, increased stress levels, stress and anxiety disorders to name a few.
Read More:- How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Sex Life
Myth #2: Snoring is harmless for your body.
Snoring is a very commonly experienced problem particularly in men. Snoring by itself is a harmless act; however, it can be an indication of a life-threatening sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is marked by loud snoring accompanied by intermittent cessation of breathing lasting for seconds to minutes several times while the person is asleep. It can adversely affect your sleep duration, sleep quality, causes daytime drowsiness and its deleterious effects extend to hypertension, heart diseases, and even stroke.
Having said that, sleep apnea can be managed by taking appropriate measures. Consult a health professional if you experience loud snoring accompanied by brief pauses in breathing.
Read More:- Consequences of Poor Sleep
Myth# 3: Falling asleep at any time of the day is a determinant of healthy sleeping behavior.
Although we all aspire to fall into sleep as soon as we lay our heads on our pillows, this isn’t a good sign. Falling asleep instantly is a sign of being sleep deprived or tired. Daytime sleepiness or drowsiness is also a sign of sleep deprivation which is considered a red flag for an underlying sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, or narcolepsy.
Feeling sleepy at odd hours of the day while driving or walking can put you at risk of getting injured. Thus, sleeping at odd hours is a sign of being sleep deprived and is in no way related to a healthy sleeping behavior.
Read More:- Sleep Apnea: All You Need to Know
Myth# 4: Lying in the bed struggling to sleep is better than not sleeping at all.
You may assume that lying on your bed for some time can help you recuperate with the sleep debt that you have incurred by staying awake the whole night. This conjecture is entirely false as your body and mind behave distinctly when awake or while sleeping. While sleeping your body is resting and your brain is actively involved in rebooting your system even during the deepest phase of sleep.
Also, lying on the bed struggling to sleep isn’t a very good idea. Instead of calming your nerves, it may cause some distress. It is advised that you get up from your bed, engage in any relaxation technique such as deep breathing, or listen to some soft music to help you get some sleep.
Tossing and turning on the bed struggling to catch some ZZZZ’s isn’t a very effective idea to make up for your sleep loss.
Read More:- The Effect of Music on Insomnia
Myth# 5: Watching TV or using an electronic gadget can help you fall asleep.
Watching TV or using an electronic gadget such as tablets, laptops etcetera right before sleep time is a strict no-no. The blue light that they emit is known to negatively affect your sleep. Try to shun the use of such electronics half an hour before bed.
Myth# 6: Drinking wine or alcohol before bedtime is good for sinking into a deep slumber.
A large number of people feel that an alcoholic beverage can be consumed right before bed as a sleeping aid. However, it is likely to disrupt the consistency of your sleep, making you feel groggy and tired the next morning.